ARC Review: Gemina by Jay Kristoff and Amie Kaufman

5/5 Stars
Published by Knopf Books for Young Readers
Published October 18th, 2016

Synopsis: Moving to a space station at the edge of the galaxy was always going to be the death of Hanna’s social life. Nobody said it might actually get her killed.

The sci-fi saga that began with the breakout bestseller Illuminae continues on board the Jump Station Heimdall, where two new characters will confront the next wave of the BeiTech assault.

Hanna is the station captain’s pampered daughter; Nik the reluctant member of a notorious crime family. But while the pair are struggling with the realities of life aboard the galaxy’s most boring space station, little do they know that Kady Grant and the Hypatia are headed right toward Heimdall, carrying news of the Kerenza invasion.

When an elite BeiTech strike team invades the station, Hanna and Nik are thrown together to defend their home. But alien predators are picking off the station residents one by one, and a malfunction in the station’s wormhole means the space-time continuum might be ripped in two before dinner. Soon Hanna and Nik aren’t just fighting for their own survival; the fate of everyone on the Hypatia—and possibly the known universe—is in their hands.

But relax. They’ve totally got this. They hope.

Once again told through a compelling dossier of emails, IMs, classified files, transcripts, and schematics, Gemina raises the stakes of the Illuminae Files, hurling readers into an enthralling new story that will leave them breathless.

I love this trilogy so freaking much. Though I jumped on the bandwagon for Illuminae a tad bit late, I jumped nonetheless and fell so deeply in love with this world and its story. After finishing Illuminae I thought "how on earth can they top this?" It seemed an impossible task to up their game after producing a masterpiece, but I can confirm now that these two wonderful authors have just produced another masterpiece. Gemina is just as intense and mind boggling as its predecessor. The content is executed unlike anything I've ever seen or read; bringing forward new formats than those in Illuminae, but returning familiar layouts. Though I was disappointed at first with the news that Kady, Ezra, and the Hypatia crew would not be the main characters in this book, I was still so impressed and happy with the new characters. This book is an amazing sequel and definitely makes the first book even more worth picking up.
Gemina starts following the events of Illuminae, immediately throwing us into the world of these two new characters aboard the Heimdall. Once again, we have a female lead with a strong presence. Hanna is tough, stoic, and knows how to kick galactic butt in an expensive jump suit. She's trained in fighting and military tactic, practically making her the perfect candidate to save the entire universe. Nik, with his family notoriously known for their crimes, is an unlikely ally in this whole thing. Though he's penned out to be heinous, he's a flirt and a total softie underneath the facade. These two were incredible apart, but even better together. Their dynamic, gut instinct, and quick wits kept them from falling apart, even under all that pressure. I love these two almost as much as Kady and Ezra. Speaking of, our favorite hacker and bf make a hilarious cameo further into the story, making me want so much more from them. Aidan was here too, making a giant spectacle out of everything. It was brilliant. In addition to the two main characters, we are joined by another amazing group of side characters (even if they were villains).

I've heard several people say that the beginning of this book was slow, but I completely disagree with that. Jay and Amie did a great job using the first hundred pages or so setting up the plot and introducing us to the characters. It was unlike Illuminae where we were thrown straight into the problem, which is why it was slower for starters. There was a purpose behind it being so delicately set in place. To me, everything about this book was exhilarating and had me in the palm of its hand. No matter how intense you view the book at page 200, 250, nothing will grab you by the throat like when you get to page 309. From there on, it gets real crazy. I felt like Jay and Amie really developed the writing style they wanted to use. The writing was amazing as always, but there was something refreshing in this book that I wasn't expecting. Each character is so distinctly clear from the rest and unlike one another. You can sense the shift in personality when it changes characters, and that is so important when a book has a huge cast. We jump from Hanna, to Nik, to the analyst, to Kady and Ezra, to Aidan - it's crucial that the fine line between each character is defined. And it is. 

Gemina was so amazing - I need the third installment now. I know that third book is oh so far away, but I shall keep my hunger at bay by rereading them both when I get my beautiful finished copy. Along with that, Jay and Amie will be at YALLFest this year and I can't wait to meet them!! I'll smother them with compliments on this fantastic trilogy so far. If you read this entire review and haven't even read Illuminae yet, go read it. You will not be disappointed. These two authors are two of the best in the biz right now. They're spectacular innovators and I couldn't be happier with the direction this series is taking (that ending tho !!???!!!?!?!?!?). Gemina will leave you speechless, mind blown and most likely confused, but in awe of this galactic space adventure. Read it

"what do you believe? what do you believe? what do you believe?" 

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